Microsoft is still battling in the courts to get its $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is attempting to block the deal amid concerns over competition. As the case rumbles into 2023, Microsoft is now claiming the lawsuit itself is unconstitutional.
In a new filing found from Microsoft in response to the FTC lawsuit, the company insists the Activision Blizzard deal should go ahead. In the document titled “Answers and Defenses of Responent Microsoft Corp.,” Microsoft again says that the deal will not stifle competition.
One of the reasons why the FTC took Microsoft to court to block the $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard is concerns over what the company will do with game franchises it takes control of.
To reassure regulators, the company struck a 10-year agreement with Nintendo to keep Call of Duty on Switch. Microsoft has also offered Sony a similar deal but has not yet reached an agreement.
In the newly found filing, Microsoft again says it sees more value in making Activision games accessible across platforms.
“Xbox also believes it is good business to make Activision’s limited portfolio of popular games more accessible to consumers, by putting them on more platforms and making them more affordable. That includes making Call of Duty, one of Activision’s most popular games, more broadly available. Microsoft made this public pledge on the day the deal was announced. Since then, Xbox has agreed to provide the game to Nintendo (which does not currently have it) and has offered [REDACTED] to Sony [REDACTED].
“The acquisition of a single game by the third-place console manufacturer cannot upend a highly competitive industry.”
Microsoft also faces regulatory scrutiny in the UK and EU, while Sony has been a vocal critic of the acquisition.
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